How do you measure the level pain caused by rejection?
They were happily married for more than 30 when he left her for his secretary.
Jesus came with accumulated love of eternity to shower it on people and they rejected it.
Hebrew_2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
We will not be lost one day because our sinning but because we refused the loving salvation the Lord offered us.
Take a short walk with on the Via Delarosa. On your left there is an entrance to the Temple Mount. We are going to have a look at the first rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders of Judea.
On your right there are the ruins of the ancient Bethesda pools.
On His way to worship in the temple that used to be here, He decided to a sight that would break your heart.
Listen what John wrote about the place:
John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
John 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
John 5:5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
John 5:7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
John 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
WHY DID JESUS HEALE THIS MAN ON THE SABBATH?
He was going to tell the poor misled priests who have allowed the devil to fill them with hatred for the liberation work that Jesus was performing on that specific Sabbath.
Jesus wanted to explain to them that the Sabbath was a sign of God’s love to bring salvation to people. It was never meant to be a miserable day of more than 500 don’ts.
As he hurried on his way with firm, free step, praising God and rejoicing in his new-found strength, he met several of the Pharisees, and immediately told them of his cure. He was surprised at the coldness with which they listened to his story.
Listen to their reaction when they saw the dying invalid of Bethesda walking to a new life of health and happiness:
John 5:10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
Can you see the joy on his face for walking again after 38 years of torture? Can you see the hatred on the faces of these unhappy hypocrites?
Just one of their many Sabbath bylaws to rob the Sabbath of being a delight as God meant it to be.
The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honourable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden.
John 5:11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
John 5:12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
John 5:13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”
John 5:15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
John 5:16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin to answer the charge of Sabbath breaking. Had the Jews at this time been an independent nation, such a charge would have served their purpose for putting Him to death.
Is Jesus going to turn His back on these murderers who wanted to kill Him for not following their miserable way of worshipping on the Sabbath?
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
What does Jesus say in this verse? He Is Equal with God
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
Jesus claimed equal rights with God in doing a work equally sacred, and of the same character with that which engaged the Father in heaven. But the Pharisees were still more incensed. He had not only broken the law, according to their understanding, but in calling God “His own Father” had declared Himself equal with God. John 5:18, R. V.
What would Jesus reply to their threat to kill him?
John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
The Sadducees held that there would be no resurrection of the body; but Jesus tells them that one of the greatest works of His Father is raising the dead, and that He Himself has power to do the same work.
John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,
John 5:23 that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.
The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ’s work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race.
He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men. because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save,—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment.
John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future.
This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah’s advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe.
The time, the place, the occasion, the intensity of feeling that pervaded the assembly, all combined to make the words of Jesus before the Sanhedrin the more impressive.
The highest religious authorities of the nation were seeking the life of Him who declared Himself the restorer of Israel.
The Lord of the Sabbath was arraigned before an earthly tribunal to answer the charge of breaking the Sabbath law.
When He so fearlessly declared His mission, His judges looked upon Him with astonishment and rage; but His words were unanswerable. They could not condemn Him. He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him, or to interfere with His work. They were invested with no such authority. Their claims were based upon their own pride and arrogance. He refused to plead guilty of their charges, or to be catechized by them.
Instead of apologizing for the act of which they complained, or explaining His purpose in doing it, Jesus turned upon the rulers, and the accused became the accuser. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts, and their ignorance of the Scriptures.
He declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected Him whom God had sent. “Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me.” John 5:39, R. V.
In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ “give all the prophets witness.” Acts 10:43.
From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession.
In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.
The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said,
John 5:38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person.
John 5:40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with a sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes.
When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver. When once they had set their feet in this path, it was easy for Satan to strengthen their opposition to Christ.
The very words that should have been received as evidence of His divinity were interpreted against Him. Thus they turned the truth of God into a lie, and the more directly the Saviour spoke to them in His works of mercy, the more determined they were in resisting the light.
We will continue to study God’s immeasurable love for people who were going to kill Him. Every word He uttered, He endeavoured to persuade them of His love and to secure them a home void of pain and death, filled with eternal security and happiness.